ON THE GROUND: National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC)

Scheme NCADC gives support and advice to people under threat of deportation from the UK and helps those wishing to stay to formulate campaigns

Funding

The Community Fund provided £190,000 over the past three years and was due to give a further £336,000 but this is currently under review.

It also receives financial support from Churches' Commission for Racial Justice, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and other grant-giving organisations

Objectives

To educate the public on deportation and immigration. To give support and advice to all individual member campaigns. To lobby to amend laws and practices which lead to unjust or inhumane deportation

The past month has been eventful for the NCADC. The Daily Mail accused it of using lottery money to protect asylum seekers, and Home Secretary David Blunkett has pushed for its Community Fund grant to be reviewed, placing all its projects in jeopardy.

"It's been an extremely stressful time,

says Lisa Schuster, a spokeswoman at the NCADC. "All the attention has taken our co-ordinators away from their work at a time when they're needed most."

The Birmingham-based organisation provides support to people who are facing deportation, helping them to write to MPs, contact specialist lawyers and set up petitions and postcard campaigns.

Most of those who approach the organisation have exhausted all other alternatives and are on the verge of being deported. But, no matter what the circumstances, it never turns people away. "Unlike other agencies we don't have a set of criteria that restricts who we can help,

says Schuster. "We never say no to anyone."

Among those currently receiving support is Yurdurgal Ay, a Kurdish woman, and her four children who left Turkey in 1988 after facing persecution.

The charity is orchestrating a letter-writing campaign on their behalf, calling on the public to ask Blunkett to review the decision to deport them.

Schuster says there are many examples of poor deportation decisions each year but the NCADC's limited resources means it can't always offer the level of support it would like.

"We are running as fast as we can just to stay in the same place,

she says. "As the Government comes under pressure to process asylum claims more quickly, more bad decisions are being made."

Over the past year, it received around 2,000 approaches for help, ranging from enquiries for information to assistance in devising major campaigns.

So will all the recent publicity hinder its work? "The attention has been unsettling,

says Schuster. "But in the long run it will raise our profile and help us reach more people in need.

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